Written by Josh “JP” Perault
Briefly, let us recap the original Guild Wars. ArenaNet released Guild Wars in 2005, sold about seven million copies, and (my favorite part) it is completely free to play. That being said, ArenaNet decided to release a second Guild Wars and DAMN it looks phenomenal. The way that this game runs and looks is absolutely amazing in every way. Let’s break it down mates.
ArenaNet wanted to “put the RPG back in MMORPG.” According to the ArenaNet team, they did not want Guild Wars 2 to play like any other run of the mill MMO. Where is the creativity and uniqueness in creating another game that you walk to an NPC, read a block of text about something completely random (that face it, rarely anyone cares to read), and then complete some mundane task for XP. Do you ever feel like it mattered to you as the player and did it ever feel like it made your character grow? The main aspect of an RPG is to build on your legend, your custom made character, and define who you are in that game world. In order to drive this point home, Guild Wars 2 questions you during character creation that defines some key points in who you are. Are you cunning? Did you get drunk in a bar and pass out? Do you fight for anything? Each of these questions directly changes the course of the game, from basic conversations to where you need to go in your game play. What if you said you fought for glory, but yet you play as a coward? ArenaNet designed a system that changes your game play according to your actions, but not on a good or evil scale. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself. In addition, your friends can join in on your own personal story, and you theirs.
Guild Wars 2 implemented a dynamic event system which has been seen in different games across the board, but none that I can think of in this particular magnitude. Paraphrasing the Guild Wars 2 team, how exciting is it finding out that you need to save someone’s farm and walk out onto the farm seeing the enemies just walking around waiting to be slain? Not too exciting right? This is where dynamic events come into play. Imagine the same scenario: farm, fire, enemies, save it, XP! This time, however, when you walk out into the field, the enemies are ACTUALLY burning it down. Much better, I say. Now take it one step further. What if you don’t feel like stopping the enemies? In any other game usually, it won’t mean a thing. You can just do the quest later, no worries. Or abandon the quest, that works as well. In Guild Wars 2, instead of it not mattering, those enemies may end up on another’s farm, burning it to the ground. Whoa wait, why are they there? Because you decided to tell the other farmer he wasn’t good enough to save. Innovative? Creative? Glad we are on the same page.
The combat system has been evolved as well. You can now dodge and use movement skills. What this means for you is that when you run around an enemy and try to roll out of the way, you don’t necessarily get hit by default. The environment can also be used as a weapon, which gives the player so many new options to vanquish his or her foes. Oh, and on a particular side note that thrilled me thoroughly, you cannot steal anyone’s loot. Anyone who took a part in the kill gets experience and has access to loot. No more kill stealing! This side note is actually a main point that ArenaNet wanted to put across, and that is the idea of teamwork and to have everyone working together. To add on to this, ArenaNet even went as far as making everyone able to heal and resurrect each other and themselves. The creation of groups will go quite smoothly in comparison because the need for a healer has been shot to hell.
The game has five races and two new classes, including the Guardian and Thief, similar to paladins and rogues. Each class possesses different abilities that even base themselves on what weapons you equip. Guild Wars 2 really goes above and beyond the idea of an MMO and truly injects the RPG element back into the experience. Practically the entire team has agreed that this is close to the best gaming experience we have seen this weekend, if not the best. I highly recommend taking a look into the game and apologizing to WoW now because I believe it will start to feel like a neglected child.